FOM: Re: Chaitin

charles silver silver_1 at
Mon Mar 19 14:03:45 EST 2001

On 16 Mar 01, at 10:01, charles silver wrote:

>     Are you the person who recently published an article debunking
> Chaitin's celebrated Godel-like theorem?   And, if so, I wondered
> whether you've received any response from him disputing your
> interpretation of his result.

Panu Praatikainen wrote:
RE: Yes, that's me. And yes, we had a short round of e-mail
exchange with Chaitin on my first paper in JPL (Vol 27, No 6, Dec.
1998) on Chaitin's earlier incompleteness result. I found his reply
rather unsatisfying, being at odds with the facts of recursive
function theory.

    I'd be interested in FOMers' opinions on two things: (1) whether
Chaitin's Theorem actually accomplishes much the same thing as Gödel's
(while being different in several respects), and (2) whether anything
can be inferred from Chaitin's Theorem about the limitations (or more
neutrally put: the capabilities) of the human mind.   (In this latter
regard, I have to admit that I've never been able to see any
connection between Gödel's result and the capabilities of the human
mind, though Chaitin's result supposedly provides more information
that allows us to jump from the mathematical result to a conclusion
about the human mind [acc. to Rucker, for example].)

Charlie Silver

More information about the FOM mailing list